Almost ten years ago this article appeared in Christianity Today, an excerpt from a book by Rick M. Nanez, titled 'Full Gospel, Fractured Minds?'
In the article, the author raised some honest questions about prevailing negative attitudes towards intellectual pursuits within the Pentecostal tradition, but also remarked that these attitudes could be shown to have infiltrated the broader evangelical community. Given our increasing self-identification as "evangelicals", could these observations apply to us as well?
Is it possible, given our not-infrequent emphasis on surrendering to the Holy Spirit, and our regularly-mentioned preference of heart-knowledge over head-knowledge, that we, too, are at risk of throwing out the baby with the bath water and abandoning our long and strong tradition of intellectual exploration?
We may still point to the academic excellence demonstrated in our institutions of higher learning, and our culture-transforming support of Christian schools, but how often do we read comments in The Banner, and elsewhere, to the effect that paying attention to scientific inquiry will only lead us astray from a child-like faith?
I wonder if we are at risk. I wonder it this possibility deserves further study. I wonder whether the Calvin sociology department could, and should, design a survey to find out whether our preachers steer our parishioners towards, or away from, an intellectually vigorous Christian life. Something anonymous. Something that wouldn't get anyone in trouble. Just to get a picture of where we are headed, as a church, with Jesus.
What do you think?